Leisure

And now, spiritual holidays

Mala Barua   | Photo Credit: de21MalaBarua

How many times have you taken a vacation to explore your spiritual self and return home in sync with your inner being? This and much more is what Mala Barua offers you when she organises your ‘retreat' (not merely a tour) in some of the most exotic and luxurious locations of Asia through her company Mystic-Asia based in New Delhi.

“Not just an ordinary tour operator”, Ms Barua combines the “exploration of the inner self” with sight-seeing, as she attempts to introduce the ancient wisdom of eastern spiritual knowledge to people.

“I give my clients a deeper understanding of the spiritual legacy of our country and this part of the world. I believe the travellers will not gain an in-depth knowledge of the spirituality of India merely by temple-hopping or visiting an ashram,” she says during a recent visit to Amritsar.

Mystic-Asia incorporates the component of wellness of body, mind and soul in their retreats. And for that Barua has been inviting masters of Ayurveda, Vedanta, Yoga, Tai Chi and Inner Silence Meditation to help the participants explore and experience their inner world.

The underlying principle is by taking care of our body as well as mind we can prevent illness and live a peaceful and healthy life.

“The participants get to explore their health concerns, or even their emotional states, thereby bringing healing to different levels of their existence. This, in turn, opens the doors to their own spiritual aspirations,” Barua points out.

Mystic-Asia's clientele includes both Indian and foreign travellers who have a “thirst for knowledge” and want to “absorb spiritual preaching”. The trips are organised as per the participants' requirements, for instance, if they would want an Ayurvedic programme or a Vedantic one.

A qualified Yoga teacher herself, Ms Barua also teaches meditation and accompanies the travelling group on every trip. “That's precisely my USP. I am like the travellers' spiritual guide. I can give a deeper understanding of spirituality because I am on this path myself. That's what is unique about my service.” She prefers organising retreats for a smaller set of 8-10 persons in order to give them personal attention.

Hailing from Assam, Ms Barua lived in London, Hong Kong and Singapore before returning to Delhi in 2000. She launched her travelling business when her friends from abroad requested her to guide them through spiritual India.

From organising retreats in Indian destinations like the Ananda Spa in the Himalayan foothills, Kerala and Goa, she is now introducing travellers to some striking locations in Angkor Vat (Cambodia), Bhutan, Nepal, Peru and Tibet.

“It has to be attractive as a place also or my idea won't sell. There has to be a connection between what the travellers see and what we teach them about spiritual philosophy in our programme,” she explains. Like a trip to Bhutan will help travellers “embrace the inner silence” reflected in the natural beauty and Buddhist teachings of the Himalayan Kingdom.

“Using a simple Buddhist technique called ‘Mindfulness' this eight-night kora (journey) through four of Bhutan's valleys is intended to develop a deeper understanding of oneself,” reads Barua's enticing brochure for her upcoming June trip.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:08:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/and-now-spiritual-holidays/article3020012.ece

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